Globalizing Education for Work: Comparative Perspectives on Gender and the New Economy

Globalizing Education for Work: Comparative Perspectives on Gender and the New Economy

Globalizing Education for Work: Comparative Perspectives on Gender and the New Economy

Globalizing Education for Work: Comparative Perspectives on Gender and the New Economy

Synopsis

This book explores how changes in the new world economy are affecting the education of male and female workers. Authors from Australia, Africa, Brazil, Europe, North America, and South Korea use methodologies--such as literature reviews, case studies, legislative analysis, evaluations of model delivery systems, and demographic profiles--to examine the current efforts of a number of nations around the world to transform vocational education and training (VET) programs into gender equitable institutions where female students are able to obtain skills necessary for successful and economically viable lives.

The cross-national perspectives in this volume illuminate the meaning of VET equity theory and practice in the new economy. Gender equity in education is constructed differently from place to place depending on a variety of factors, including economic development and cultural traditions. Starting from this understanding that gender and culture are multifaceted, historically situated, and constructed around dominant economic and institutional structures, class identities, and social positions, as well as discursive practices, the book addresses central questions, such as:

• What roles do schools play in the global economy?

• Is there a parallel between an increasingly globalized economy and a viable universal concept of education for work?

• What is the effect of a nation's financial condition, political system, and global economic posture on its training policies?

• Are educational equity issues heightened or submerged in the new economy?

The comparative perspective helps readers to more clearly analyze both tensions that arise as capitalist changes in the new economy are contested, resisted, or accommodated--and the impact upon education. In the Afterword, the editors identify overarching themes emerging from the volume and illuminate various comparative perspectives on gender and the new economy.

Globalizing Education for Work: Comparative Perspectives on Gender and the New Economy brings together important information and analysis for researchers, students, and teachers in education, women's studies, and sociology; for vocational education and training professionals; and for policymakers and policy analysts in governmental and nongovernmental organizations. It is well suited as a text for a range of graduate courses in the fields of comparative and international education, politics of education, vocational educational policy, gender and education, and sociology of education.

Excerpt

One can hardly help but notice the controversy surrounding changes in the world economy. Some 70,000 protesters took to the streets in Seattle in November of 1999, to voice opposition to the World Trade Organization's policy, which they believe disregard human rights, labor negotiations, environmental stability, and virtually upend economies in the developing world. In April of 2000 over 10,000 marched on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) buildings in Washington, D.C. In September of 2000, the 55th annual summit of the WB and IMF in Prague, Czechoslovakia, closed a day earlier than planned in response to another round of street protests. One hundred thousand people demonstrated at the July 2001, G-8 summit in Genoa, Italy. Many more political actions have occurred in towns and cities around the world since that time.

Although the issues are complex and diverse both those for and against the international trade policies agree on one thing: The world is drawing closer economic, political, and social ties. As educators we became interested in investigating what roles schools played in this evolution. Was there a parallel between an increasingly globalized economy and a viable universal concept of education for work? What effect does a nation's global economic posture have on its training policies? As educators who have focused our past research and teaching on gender and labor issues, moreover, we wanted to know how changes in the world economy impacted the education of male and female workers—are there appreciable differences? Are the needs of female workers still driven by patriarchal agendas? What are the governmental policies in socialist and capitalist democracies or in developing and developed nations toward education for work? Are educational equity issues heightened or submerged in the new economy?

In this volume we incorporate these questions along with others brought to the text by the contributors. We start with the understanding that gender and culture are multifaceted, historically situated, constructed around dominant economic and institutional structures, class identities and social positions, as well as discursive practices. We also note that tensions arise as one contests-resists-accommodates capitalist advances in the new economy. Our . . .

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